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Re: 1st Quarter 2023 Managing for the Master [Re: dedication] #195371
01/22/23 10:56 AM
01/22/23 10:56 AM
dedication  Online Content OP
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You really got my curiosity up on just how they gathered their tithes and offerings in early Adventist history.
When I read the many passages, and the appeals urging members to bring their tithes and offerings to the Lord, to Jesus, to the storehouse, to the treasury etc. it's generally assumed it meant give them to the church in the offering plate. Though now with "Adventist online Giving", it is much more convenient to do this on a day other than the Sabbath.

When one looks into the broader spectrum of Adventist writings, we find that they did take up offerings in Sabbath School and worship services.

As the work enlarged with schools, sanitariums, publishing work, mission work, etc. They found they needed a lot more money. The tithe was to be strictly held for supporting ministers, evangelists and Bible workers, but a lot more was needed to sustain the enlarged work, as well as to build and maintain churches, and the other buildings..
This resulted in a lot of money calls during Sabbath School and the Church service.
Considerable concerns were expressed over this state of affairs. The seemingly unending calls for money was turning away people, and it was disrupting the worship atmosphere, evoking guilt and resentment.
By the year 1900, they realized they needed to have another systematic plan for giving, this time for offerings (or a second tithe)

A.T. Jones wrote
It has been found that these necessities, which are perfectly proper, have, without any established system, caused such an encroachment upon the Sabbath and the Sabbath worship as to give to the Sabbath and our Sabbath meetings too much of a cast of an opportunity for raising funds. This is true, not only concerning the Sabbath, but, in the absence of any systematic plan, the necessities of the cause have required that in general meetings precious time has had to be spent in urging, and at times excessive urging, the people to give.....

These things have caused the brethren all over the land to consider and inquire whether there is not a better way than we have found for raising means for the different phases of our work...
...in the Bible, in the plan of God's arrangement for the support of His cause, a second tithe is as clearly arranged as a first....

Thus the first tithe was given .. to the Levites. It was called directly "the Lord's" (Lev. 27:30), and was wholly devoted to the service of the Lord, in the Lord's way, as He should direct, in the ministration and service of the priests and Levites in the sanctuary and among the people, while the second tithe, though also devoted to the Lord's service, was left altogether to the choice of the one who tithed it as to how he would spend it or devote it to the cause of God. ....

It will make a supply, always ready, from which each one can give liberally, as the Lord has prospered him, and without any urging at all, much less any extreme or undue urging.....

From this it need not be concluded that this will exclude all offerings on the Sabbath. Offerings on the Sabbath are right, for the Scripture says, "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; fear before Him, all the earth." Ps. 96:8, 9.

{Pacific Union Recorder, December 4, 1902 ATJ}

So yes, they did take up offerings during the worship service and during Sabbath School, but the urging people to give offerings every Sabbath for all the various needs was seen as a real problem. To alleviate the problem of all those offering calls, they asked people to pay a "second tithe" to cover all the expenses, for which the first tithe was not to be used.

Today we have "combined church budget" giving, in which the members give a percentage of income to the church, which is then distributed into the different church expense categories. There are still offering appeals from the front as well.

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Re: 1st Quarter 2023 Managing for the Master [Re: dedication] #195398
01/30/23 03:39 AM
01/30/23 03:39 AM
dedication  Online Content OP
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Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

The world is dealing in debt, encouraging debt, making it super easy to be in debt.
Many people are in debt over their heads. The paradox: people think they are free when they have several credit cards to buy whatever their hearts desire. An illusion that they have lots of money to spend. But it's money they don't possess. Standing debts ENSLAVE a person. Your wages are no longer yours, they must go to pay off the credit cards, not just what one spent but huge interests rates added.

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Re: 1st Quarter 2023 Managing for the Master [Re: dedication] #195400
01/30/23 01:49 PM
01/30/23 01:49 PM
dedication  Online Content OP
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Sin is likened to debt in scripture. A debt that we have no means to repay.

Those who think their good deeds will somehow cancel out their sins are deceived. Just like those who think paying $10 a month against a $50,000 debt will somehow cancel out the debt.

Matt. 18:23 The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a king who would take account of his servants.
18:24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
18:26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

The king was dealing with his stewards, who were in charge of administering the affairs of his government. They were responsible to handle money belonging to the state. One of these stewards had hugely mismanaged this responsibility and embezzled or misdirected a huge amount of money. There was no way he could repay or rectify his gross mismanagement. There was also no way he could continue to live in the king's society in that condition. So the verdict was issued, he would lose everything and end up in prison. All hope the future gone.
But the terrified man fell at his feet and begged, saying, "Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

The king absorbed the loss himself and set the man free. Sin of course can never be erased by paying someone like in a monetary transaction, (to imply we can pay someone for our sins is taking the parable totally too far) but the point is that the king absorbed the losses in himself, just as Jesus
absorbed the consequences of our sin Himself on the cross. There was nothing we could do to get rid of that debt that stands against, but Jesus absorbed the consequences of our sin and died the death that we deserved so we can live the life He deserves.

Col. 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened, made us alive, together with Christ, having forgiven you all trespasses;
2:14 Cancelling out the written record with its legal demands that stood against us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Recent studies of historical writings show that word "Cheirographon" was used to show a "certificate of indebtedness". So the use of this word in this verse means: he canceled the written record of our debts.

Now it makes more sense...especially when we consider Jesus parable of the ungrateful man. The man who owed the king millions of dollars. The man was summoned to appear before the king to meet the consequences of his indebtedness. Of course he couldn't do anything about it? he was dead in a sense, dead due to his debts! No hope at all to be free from those debts. BUT THE king forgave him all his debts by canceling the written record of those debts which stood against him! The king absorbed the loss in himself, and the servant was set free to live "the new life".

The rest of the story (of the ungrateful servant ) shows we are expected to "live the new life in Christ" as well.

Matt. also likens sin to debts:
6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

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Re: 1st Quarter 2023 Managing for the Master [Re: dedication] #195423
02/05/23 03:04 AM
02/05/23 03:04 AM
dedication  Online Content OP
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Laying Up Treasure in Heaven

"show me what you spend your money on, and I will show you where your heart is, because wherever you put your money, your heart is sure to follow, if it's not there already."

Noah, how did he lay up treasure in heaven?

Noah did not follow the science.
In fact, science predicted a flood could never happen and Noah was just an old deluded man.

Noah gave up everything, his money, his reputation, the respect from others, all in order to build a huge boat on dry ground, preparing for a flood, which science of that time, said couldn't happen.
Noah believed God, in spite of of all the opposing opinions, in spite of suffering ridicule and in spite of all scientific evidence against his project; he believed and put everything into it and moved forward.

The important thing is that, like Noah, we do what God asks of us, even if, as with Noah, it means some radical life changes in how we would like things to happen down here. The big question-- is our greatest aim to make everything, as cushy and fancy here, as possible, or are we preparing for eternal life with Christ.

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Re: 1st Quarter 2023 Managing for the Master [Re: dedication] #195500
02/24/23 03:54 AM
02/24/23 03:54 AM
dedication  Online Content OP
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After the emphases of Laying up our treasure in heaven, we come to passages which seem to be saying the opposite.
It all goes to show we need to use common sense.
-- the lessons deal with practical issues and their relationship to spiritual things.
The Practical
1. Make God first. Give Him His portion in thanks for the strength and wisdom He gave for us to earn money. It's amazing, but it really does seem like He patches all the holes in our pockets, and there is more money there.
2. Live within our means. Credit Cards are not money, they are just promises that we will pay the full amount in the future, with interest. Better to pay for everything right away, and if we don't have the money, just don't buy it. Of course there are emergency exceptions, but make sure it is an emergency, not just a strong desire.

3. Make a budget. Divide up your monthly income, allow a given amount of that income for things needed or wanted.
4, Be debt free. Mortgages are often necessary if one wants a home, but it is wise, when obtaining a mortgage, to make sure the payment on the principle is considerably more than the interest charged each month. Work at getting all smaller debts paid out, then try to pay more each month on the mortgage to whittle that down, and hopefully get rid of it.
5. Save, put aside a little every month, so if you face an emergency you have the means to cover
6. Trust in God. Put everything in His hands. Ask Him to guide and uphold us, as we follow the basic management principles.

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Re: 1st Quarter 2023 Managing for the Master [Re: dedication] #195503
02/25/23 02:06 AM
02/25/23 02:06 AM
dedication  Online Content OP
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The purpose of our jobs should not be only to make money to take care of our living expenses, our jobs should also be opportunities to share our faith with fellow workers and/or customers.

One way to share, is simply to do good, fair and honest, above board, business in every transaction.
There is nothing that turns community folk off faster. than to deal with someone who claims to be a Christian, or an Adventist, who then goes and takes advantage, or engages in questionable business deals with clients.
Our lives are a powerful witness, either for, or against the faith we profess to hold.

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